In Remembrance Of

Larry Finger

Larry was born on May 22, 1940 in Terril, Iowa to Wayne and Lucille Finger. He passed away from pancreatic cancer on June 21, 2024 at home with his family by his side.

In the 7th grade, the family moved to Southern Minnesota. Larry graduated from Tracy High School in 1958 and in 2023 was inducted into the Tracy Hall of Fame. He attended the University of Minnesota, receiving a Bachelors Degree in Physics in 1964 and continued his education by receiving a PhD in Mineralogy in 1967. At that point they moved to a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. where they lived for 32 years.

In June of 1962 he married Denise Lanning of Clara City, Minnesota. They were married for 62 years. To this union were born two daughters, Cynthia and Pamela. The family did extensive traveling both in the U.S. and internationally, having traveled to 36 different countries and islands.

Larry was doing research in mineralogy crystallography at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and had the mineral “fingerite” named after him. He also was heavily involved in computers and programming. In 1996 he received a Humboldt fellowship from the German Government and spent a year researching at the University of Bayreuth. His pioneering research throughout his career continues to guide and influence crystallography today.

After retiring in 1999, Larry and Denise became full-time Rvers and spent the Winters in Mesa, AZ. In 2003 they purchased their home in Smithville, MO where they live. Here he was involved in refurbishing computers for the underprivileged.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his loving wife, Denise, and two daughters, Cindi (Ben) Brinson, Pam (Frank) LaRocca, two grandsons, Riggins and Cael, one brother, Duane, one sister,, Bette Ourada, sisters-in-law Marlys Willard and Shari Lanning, and several nieces and nephews.

At Larry’s request, there will be no funeral. Visitation will be held at the Hixson-Klein Funeral Home in Smithville, MO on June 27, 2024 from 6-8 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to the American Cancer Society.

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Service Details


6:00-8:00 p.m. Thursday, June 27th at Hixson-Klein Funeral Home, Smithville

Comments & condolences


  • Jean Karle Dean

    I was saddened to read about Larry’s passing in the Washington Post. I would like to express my condolences to the family. I did not know Larry well, but would sometimes attend the Friday afternoon Crystal Colloquium at the Carnegie Institution, and I know he was a good friend and fellow crystallographer to my parents Jerome and Isabella Karle.

  • Martin Kroeker

    So sad to learn of his passing. I owe a lot to Larry, and I had meant to contact him about creatng a new version of the software we had written together for years, too many years ago. My heartfelt condolences to you.

  • Larry worked tirelessly maintaining wireless drivers for Linux. He helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world. His contributions will not be forgotten by those that had the honor of knowning him.

  • Frank Titus

    Gone too soon. RIP Larry.

  • It was an honor and my privilege to have known Larry. He was a regular volunteer at Connecting for Good for several years.

    He was a vary kind, confident and humble man. An example to everyone around him.

  • Chris Wiley

    Great guy he will be missed

  • Betty Manguson Hagberg

    I graduated with him and we were friends who went to the prom together just to have a date . I enjoyed talking with him at class Reunion. My condolences to you.

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